Intellectuals, admittedly, have dominated central parts in the pages of modern Irish history, and James Joyce incorporates a diverse array of intellectuals into his texts. The “Aeolus” episode in Ulysses depicts members of the professional intelligentsia in journalism, law, and education. However, the picture of the independent and nonconforming intellectual functioning as the conscience of the people and speaking truth to power seems gravely distorted in “Aeolus.” Instead of acting as society’s conscience, these Dubliners corrupt the national spirit: their idleness, flatulence, alcoholism, and nostalgia result in failure and unfulfillment, and, more grievously, signify the degeneration of the intelligentsia. Retrospective rather than innovative, dedicated to the borrowed rather than the self-created, these “talents” fail to live up to their calling. In contrast with Joyce’s portrayal of his protagonists, his depictions of these “talents” offer critiques of the corruption of certain intellectuals, his dialogue with those who exercised profound influence on modern Ireland, and his rethinking of the role of the intellectual.